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Accredited Professionals Scheme

Supporting better decision-making and high levels of professionalism in the planning sector

The Accredited Professionals Scheme aims to enhance the reliability, flexibility and accountability of decision-makers in the planning system and give development applicants greater confidence in the way that their development applications are assessed.

Consultation on the Accredited Professionals Scheme Draft (PDF, 916 KB), comprising of the Accredited Professionals Regulations, the Accredited Professionals Skills and Experience Requirements, and the Accredited Professionals Code of Conduct, has now closed. You can view a copy of all submissions received below and a What We Have Heard Report will be published here shortly.

The Accredited Professionals Scheme is a key arm of the new planning system created under the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016.

Under the new Scheme, planning and building professionals who are involved in assessing development applications will be expected to maintain minimum standards of professional practice and produce evidence that they are sufficiently qualified to make key decisions at certain levels.

Once accredited, planning and building professionals will be registered in a central database managed by the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure.

In addition, all Accredited Professionals will be required to hold all necessary insurance, comply with an Accredited Professionals Code of Conduct, participate in annual compliance checks and undertake specified units of Continuing Professional Development.

More information is available in the following fact sheets: fact sheet for building professionals (PDF, 912 KB)fact sheet for private sector planners and allied professionals (PDF, 996 KB)fact sheet for council employees (PDF, 996 KB).

The Accredited Professionals Scheme will help to facilitate the following:

  • Better decision making
    The Scheme will ensure that planning and building professionals are suitably qualified and experienced to assess development applications and that they adhere to relevant planning requirements and a strict code of conduct.
  • Improved recognition of professionals
    The Scheme will publicly recognise the skills and experience of planning and building professionals and the value they bring to the decision-making process.
  • Faster processing for applicants
    Development applicants will have the choice to engage accredited professionals in the public or private sectors, resulting in faster and more responsive turnaround times on applications.
  • Better management of complaints
    The Scheme will provide a clear auditing and compliance process to ensure that all decisions are transparent and that issues and complaints can be investigated swiftly and fairly.
  • Centralised public register for all accredited professionals
    All Accredited Professionals will be registered on a central directory on the SA Planning Portal, making it easier for users to access up-to-date information on all planning and building decision-makers, including their areas of expertise.

To become an Accredited Professional, practitioners will need to be accredited by the Chief Executive of the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI), known as the Accrediting Authority.

An application for accreditation will need to be lodged and accompanied by evidence that supports practitioners’ eligibility to become accredited in the class that they request.

There will be several classes of accreditation available under the Scheme and each will require a different level of qualification and experience. The accreditation classes are not dissimilar to the accreditation levels identified by the Planning Institute of Australia, the Australian Institute of Building Surveyors and the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.

All applications for accreditation under the Scheme will be evaluated by either DPTI or a private body (such as those named above), in agreement with DPTI. However, only the Chief Executive of DPTI will have the authority to officially offer accreditation to applicants.

As an ongoing condition of accreditation under the Scheme, practitioners will not only be expected to demonstrate that they have maintained suitable skills and qualifications, but will also be required to maintain an appropriate level of insurance; comply with the Accredited Professionals Code of Conduct; and notify the Chief Executive of DPTI of any change to their professional circumstances.

Practitioners who are already accredited with an industry body can request that their industry body submit an application for accreditation under the Accredited Professionals Scheme on their behalf, but only if that industry body has a prior agreement with the Chief Executive of DPTI.

The process for developing the Accredited Professionals Scheme can be viewed at-a-glance in the Infographic: How we are Developing the Accredited Professionals Scheme (PDF, 104 KB). Each of the steps involved are described in more detail, below:

Consultation on the discussion paper took place between February to April 2018. It proposed the operational framework for the Scheme. A summary of the feedback we received on the paper is available in the What We Have Heard Report - Accredited Professionals Scheme Discussion Paper (PDF, 749 KB). The Scheme has since evolved to address the feedback received and to support other elements of the planning reform program.

Two workshops were held with key stakeholders to refine and strengthen the Scheme. The first workshop took place on 14 March 2018 and addressed the themes of the Accredited Professionals Scheme Discussion Paper. The second workshop was held on 11 April 2018 and explored the Continuing Professional Development requirements for the Scheme. These workshops were recorded and can be viewed below.

Part 1 - Introduction and presentation

Part 2 - Workshopping and discussion paper

Part 1 - The presentation on a CPD program

Part 2 - Q&A session

Part 3 - Workshopping the CPD methods of training

The Accredited Professionals Scheme Draft (PDF, 916 KB) was on consultation from 23 August 2018 to 17 October 2018. The draft Scheme includes the Accredited Professionals Regulations, the Accredited Professionals Skills and Experience Requirements, and the Accredited Professionals Code of Conduct.

The administrative procedures for the Scheme are forthcoming and will set parameters for all elements of the Scheme so that it operates smoothly.

It is envisaged that Accredited Professionals Scheme will be implemented in stages. From early 2019, a transitional period will begin, during which all eligible professionals will be able to transition into the Scheme. By mid-2019, all building professionals will be required to transition into the Scheme (and may do so through recognition of their existing certification). Accreditation for all other planning and building professionals will be required from late 2019 onwards.

Listed below are links to the submissions for the Accredited Professionals Scheme Draft:

2020 All other building and planning professionals require accreditation
Mid 2019 Members of council and State Planning Commission required to be accredited
Late 2018 Scheme introduced
Mid 2018 Draft scheme – fact sheets, regulations, code of conduct – release for consultation
June 2018 Submissions considered. Consultation report released

April 2018
Workshop with planning practitioners on the CPD educational program

March 2018
Workshop with planning practitioners on the Accredited Professionals Scheme discussion paper

February 2018
Accredited Professionals Scheme discussion paper released for consultation until 30 April


To learn more about the Accredited Professionals Scheme please contact

Page last modified Friday, 19 October 2018